After some of the oddities popping up in recent years regarding Emmy categories (like True Detective running as a drama, and some suspicious entries to the comedy field), the TV Academy looked to close some loopholes with a revision of their rules.
At first, it seemed that the “comedies are only 30 minute programs” rule would mainly affect Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, but after other series (like Showtime’s Shameless, Fox’s Glee and the CW’s Jane the Virgin) complained about the ruling affecting them as well, the TV Academy decided it would consider petitions from series looking to not have to category-jump (frankly, HBO should use it to allow The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst to run as a drama).
Thus, a 9-member panel has decreed that while the hourlong series Shameless, Glee, and Jane the Virgin have been given the go-ahead to stay in comedy, OITNB will not get a pass. According to THR, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos said of the decision,
Orange is the New Black is a truly pioneering series and an iconoclast which has always defied genre or easy categorization. While we’re disappointed in the committee’s decision, we believe that Orange represents the best of television in either category.
This means that not only will OINTB compete against other Netflix dramas like House of Cards (and maybe Bloodline?), it will also add to the already overcrowded drama field (although it doesn’t matter who else is in the comedy field — Modern Family will win it regardless!) Plus, all of the show’s actors, writers, directors, and more will of course also be submitted in the drama fields.
(Shameless, it should be noted, ran as a drama for its first three seasons, before switching to comedy, where it has evidently been allowed to remain).
However, as has been pointed out, the OITNB swap does pave the way for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which will be Netflix’s new big push in the comedy category.